By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Norman residents will see changes in recycling this fall as a result of a new contract with Allied Waste for biweekly curbside pickup.
The recycling contract, a contract for water with Del City and changes to the city’s lighting ordinance occurred during the late night and early morning hours as the Norman City Council meeting stretched into a lengthy session that ended sometime after 1 a.m.
Starting in August, the change in curbside recycling service from weekly to biweekly pickup will be offset by larger 95-gallon, wheeled polycarts and the addition of cardboard to the collection portfolio.
Allied will work with the city to educate city recycling customers on the change in service. There will be no increase in rate.
The city council also unanimously approved a five-year contract for up to 300 million gallons annually of Del City’s Lake Thunderbird allotment, with the possibility of increasing that to 500 million gallons annually.
Norman is already on mandatory odd/even water conservation because of a 10 percent reduction in the city’s Lake Thunderbird allotment allowed by the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District.
While this will not solve all of Norman’s water concerns, it will alleviate some of the strain.
COMCD reduced the allotments of all three customers — Norman, Del City and Midwest City. Del City relies most heavily on its wells, while Norman gets two-thirds of its water supply from the lake. City leaders indicate Midwest City has not been open to negotiations for its Lake Thunderbird allocation.
As the drought enters its third year, further reductions in the Thunderbird allocation is anticipated.
The five-year contract with Del City will begin May 1 and is subject to renewal for another five years. COMCD has set the price for surplus untreated water for this year at 33 cents per 1,000 gallons, and that is the amount contracted for with Del City.
Norman’s water usage will be subject to rationing when Del City implements its rationing program and Norman’s right to purchase Del City’s allotment also will be impacted if four or more of Del City’s existing wells cease to function, according to city staff notes.
The city council also approved changes to the city’s lighting ordinance. Eileen Grzybowski was one of the concerned residents who waited through the seven-hour meeting to speak in support of protecting neighborhoods from spillover light.
Grzybowski and her neighbors said out of a list of 32 businesses who had approved lighting applications, only two — Seven-11 and Harvest Church — complained.
Council member Chad Williams said Harvest Church had never formally complained to city staff about the ordinance. However, Williams championed the changes to the lighting ordinance, citing difficulties and expenses the church had incurred as unintended consequences of that ordinance. Harvest Church is complying with the current ordinance, he said.
The ordinance now requires corrective action when “a Code Enforcement or Police Officer finds evidence of glare or light spillover onto adjacent single or two family properties. Corrective action includes shielding, reaiming or replacement of a fixture with a full cut-off fixture,” according to city staff notes.
The second change allows for pole height to correspond with that of existing light poles. The third change removes lumen caps requirements from the ordinance.
The fourth change amends photometric plan requirements and now only requires photometric plans when the property to be lit is adjacent to property zoned or used for single- or two-family residential purposes. For other developments, photometric plans are optional and may be prepared by electrical contractors as well as by engineers and representatives of the lighting industry.
After lengthy debate, attorney Harold Heiple suggested a compromise amendment to protect the neighbors across the street from spillover light in addition to protecting adjacent properties. Council member Dave Spaulding made the motion and it was approved. Heiple represents the Norman Developers Council.
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